TUESDAY, February 15, 2022
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants hundreds of new patents every week, showcasing the most exciting developments in technology and innovation.
In this article, we highlight several interesting US patents recently issued by the USPTO.
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Facebook was granted a patent for detecting three-dimensional hand gestures from a head-mounted system. The detected gesture is analyzed to determine if it relates to any predefined commands, presenting the user with the most likely suggestion. Users can then confirm their input for the head-mounted system.
“In one embodiment, a method includes detecting a user input comprising an incomplete gesture performed by one or more hands of a first user by a client system associated with the first user; selecting one or more candidate gestures from a plurality of pre-defined gestures by the client system based on a personalized gesture-recognition model, wherein each of the candidate gestures is associated with a confidence score representing a likelihood the first user intended to input the respective candidate gesture, and presenting one or more suggested inputs corresponding to one or more of the candidate gestures at the client system.”
“An assistant system can provide information or services on behalf of a user based on a combination of user input, location awareness, and the ability to access information from a variety of online sources (such as weather conditions, traffic congestion, news, stock prices, user schedules, retail prices, etc.). The user input may include text (e.g., online chat), especially in an instant messaging application or other applications, voice, images, motion, or a combination of them. The assistant system may perform concierge-type services (e.g., making dinner reservations, purchasing event tickets, making travel arrangements) or provide information based on the user input. The assistant system may also perform management or data-handling tasks based on online information and events without user initiation or interaction. Examples of those tasks that may be performed by an assistant system may include schedule management (e.g., sending an alert to a dinner date that a user is running late due to traffic conditions, update schedules for both parties, and change the restaurant reservation time). The assistant system may be enabled by the combination of computing devices, application programming interfaces (APIs), and the proliferation of applications on user devices.
A social-networking system, which may include a social-networking website, may enable its users (such as persons or organizations) to interact with it and with each other through it. The social-networking system may, with input from a user, create and store in the social-networking system a user profile associated with the user. The user profile may include demographic information, communication-channel information, and information on personal interests of the user. The social-networking system may also, with input from a user, create and store a record of relationships of the user with other users of the social-networking system, as well as provide services (e.g. profile/news feed posts, photo-sharing, event organization, messaging, games, or advertisements) to facilitate social interaction between or among users.
The social-networking system may send over one or more networks content or messages related to its services to a mobile or other computing device of a user. A user may also install software applications on a mobile or other computing device of the user for accessing a user profile of the user and other data within the social-networking system. The social-networking system may generate a personalized set of content objects to display to a user, such as a newsfeed of aggregated stories of other users connected to the user.”
Universal City Studios has been granted a patent for an inflatable assembly that can change into multiple shapes. The inflatable device utilizes an unmanned aerial vehicle and a series of valves to achieve the desired shape. The valves control fluids that alter the shape of different assembly portions. Additionally, unmanned aerial vehicles enable the inflatable assembly to move once it is in the desired shape. Therefore, the system allows a way to control the form and create an illusion of movement for an inflatable assembly.
“A system may include an inflatable assembly having a plurality of members. The system may also include a plurality of sensors disposed at a plurality of positions inside or around the inflatable assembly, such that the plurality of sensors may acquire data related to a shape of the inflatable assembly. The system also includes one or more valves, each configured to direct a fluid into a corresponding member of the plurality of members of the inflatable assembly. The system also includes a processor that adjusts positions of the one or more valves to cause the fluid to be directed into the corresponding member of the plurality of members of the inflatable assembly based on the data and a desired shape of the inflatable assembly.”
“The present disclosure relates generally to the field of amusement parks. More specifically, embodiments of the present disclosure relate to systems and methods for providing and enhancing amusement park experiences related to pneumatic robotic systems.
Various amusement rides and exhibits have been created to provide guests with unique interactive, motion, and visual experiences. In various rides and exhibits, guest experiences may be enhanced by employing certain interactive robotic features within the rides and exhibits. However, it is now recognized that various mechanical devices that actuate these interactive components may often appear to move in a linear or excessively mechanical manner that leaves the user with the impression of interacting with a robot, as opposed to a more life-like object.”
Boeing has disclosed a patent that would enable a message to be communicated from an aircraft. The aircraft would be fitted with a plurality of valves and nozzles along the aircraft wing. A controller can then engage the nozzles to correspond to the message being communicated. Once engaged, the nozzles will generate a cloudburst suspended in the air that displays the message.
“A method, system and apparatus are provided for generating indicia in the sky using a single pass of an aircraft. A system of an embodiment for communicating a message from an aircraft includes: a plurality of valves; a plurality of nozzles, where each nozzle is associated with a corresponding valve, and where the plurality of nozzles are distributed along a span of a wing of the aircraft; at least one tank in fluid communication with the plurality of valves; and a controller configured to individually control each of the plurality of valves, where the controller is configured to individually actuate the plurality of valves to generate, from contents of the tank received at each nozzle, cloud bursts to be suspended in the air.”
“Advertising has taken many forms over the years and fundamentally provides information for consumers. One form of advertising that has long been used is the placement of signs to provide information to people relating to any manner of things. Signs in the form of billboards, store-front signs, street signs, and the like form static advertising methods. Other advertising methods may be more dynamic in nature, such as digital billboards, projected signs on a billboard or building wall, banner-carrying aircraft such as planes or blimps, and sky writing.
Skywriting has conventionally been a way to reach a large number of people with a temporary medium involving a relatively low cost for the medium itself while incurring much more substantial cost in deploying the medium in the sky. Skywriting is most frequently found over areas of large populations, and more particularly, at times when the population has an increased likelihood of seeing the skywriting. For example, sporting events in outdoor venues such as football stadiums hosting an audience may be a good candidate for a skywriting due to the audience being relatively stationary and having a view of the sky. Skywriting may also be performed over cities or towns in an effort to communicate with a large number of people. However, skywriting is labor-intensive and/or generally limited in the message that can be conveyed to an audience due to the temporary nature of the medium.
Conventional skywriting is generally inefficient and relatively expensive as a form of advertising or otherwise conveying information to a viewer. Aircraft to deploy skywriting are expensive to purchase as is the operating cost of such aircraft, particularly when factoring in trained pilots and maintenance. Skywriting with a single aircraft producing a trail of vapor or smoke requires numerous passes over an area to “write” messages in the sky as the aircraft take long, sweeping paths to deploy the vapor or smoke periodically. Skywriting with multiple aircraft can employ a fleet to generate a message using smoke or vapor in as little as a single pass. However, employing multiple aircraft substantially increases the cost and requires more precise flying and timing to produce a readable message. Beyond these inherent inefficiencies, skywriting generally relies upon appropriate weather conditions such that aircraft specifically configured for skywriting may be grounded in all but appropriate conditions, thereby reducing the efficiency and increasing the inherent cost of skywriting. There is, therefore, a desire to resolve these inefficiencies.”
Boeing has been granted a patent for a plane with engines embedded within the construction of the vehicle. The engines utilize an input port integrated into the front wing portion in line with the engine. Exhaust from the embedded engine goes through an s-shaped exhaust pipe to ensure that the exhaust flows out smoothly from the engine.
“An aircraft having a blended-wing-body configuration includes a centerbody, a pair of wings, at least one pair of engines, a pair of air inlets, and a pair of exhaust outlets. The centerbody has an airfoil-shaped cross section, an aircraft centerline, an aft portion, an upper mold line, a lower mold line, and a pair of centerbody leading edge portions respectively on opposite sides of the aircraft centerline. The wings are integral with the centerbody. The pair of engines are located on opposite sides of the aircraft centerline and are mounted within the centerbody between the upper mold line and the lower mold line. The pair of air inlets are located respectively along the centerbody leading edge portions and are respectively fluidly coupled to the pair of engines. The pair of exhaust outlets our located in the aft portion of the centerbody and our respectively fluidly coupled to the pair of engines.”
“Conventional aircraft configurations present several design challenges in terms of aerodynamics, cargo-carrying capability, and engine noise. For example, a tube-and-wing aircraft has a tubular fuselage that generates aerodynamic drag which detracts from the fuel efficiency of the aircraft. In addition, the relatively narrow shape of the fuselage limits the useable volume for carrying cargo and/or passengers. For aircraft having engines that are suspended from the wings or mounted on the aft end of the fuselage, the noise generated by the engines may prevent the aircraft from departing or arriving at airports during noise curfew hours.
As can be seen, there exists a need in the art for an aircraft configuration that addresses the above-noted challenges associated with the aerodynamics, engine noise, and cargo-carrying capabilities of existing aircraft configurations.”
Written by John DeStefano, Technical Advisor